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Natural Hazards

A New Chapter on Tsunami Design

New design provisions for tsunami loads and effects have been developed by the ASCE 7 Tsunami Loads and Effects Subcommittee (TLESC), and are included in the just-released 2016 edition of the internationally recognized loading standard ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE/SEI 7-16). This resource and accompanying data was developed over a 34-month period by a subcommittee of almost 30 members, along with the contributions and review of numerous other state, national, and international stakeholders. To provide the authoritative distribution of this tsunami design information, Blue Raster and the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE have created the ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application.

Offshore Tsunami Amplitude Analysis

The ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application provides insight into the first national, consensus-based standard for tsunami resilience for use in the states of Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii. Structural engineers are already being asked to incorporate tsunami-resilient designs in various critical building and facility structures in the five western states, The profession and the affected communities now have a comprehensive consensus on loading and design standards for buildings and other structures.

Transect of Elevation

The new tsunami design zone maps define the coastal zones where structures of specified risk would be designed for tsunami resistance. Easy access to this data through the ASCE Tsunami Design Geodatabase application is imperative for the resiliency of our coastal infrastructure.

Keeping America’s Infrastructure Safe with ASCE

Blue Raster and the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) are pleased to announce the launch of the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool, to accompany the just-released 2016 edition of the internationally recognized loading standard ASCE 7, Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures (ASCE/SEI 7-16). This tool is designed to provide users with environmental loading limit information for infrastructure based on location and risk category. For example, how much ice thickness must a school be able to safely carry in Minnesota? To what level of tsunami inundation will a hospital need to be elevated in California? To find out, the new ASCE 7 Hazard Tool provides a single destination for quickly retrieving your choice of hazard data, including:

  • basic wind speed
  • seismic accelerations
  • flood zone and base flood elevation
  • ground snow load
  • rain load
  • tsunami-load risk
  • ice thickness

A full downloadable PDF report of all variables selected is also available for incorporation into site studies or building construction documents.

The fully functional site will be available to paid subscribers only (following the initial Beta period), however, wind and tsunami data will be available to all to show site functionality and utility. Make the ASCE 7 Hazard Tool the first stop for new infrastructure construction in America, and help keep us safe from environmental hazards.

Natural Disaster Hotspots – A Global Risk Analysis

Featured in the Nature scientific journal, Blue Raster worked with the World Bank to support the Natural Disaster Hotspots report, which presents a global view of major natural disaster risk hotspots with the goal of aligning resources to areas at highest risk of disaster. It summarizes the results of an interdisciplinary analysis of the location and characteristics of hotspots for six natural hazards – earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, drought, and cyclones. It combines sub-national population data with economic analysis and past disaster losses to identify areas at relatively high risk of one or more hazards. Blue Raster produced more than 30 case study maps for the report as well as an interactive application.

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